As revealed by the 2011 Census, England is increasingly multi-ethnic. Yet at the same time, racist discourses and practices continue to remain salient. In order to explore the contemporary manifestations of racism, this paper draws on research with two groups occupying different spaces within the sociology of race and ethnicity: young separated migrants seeking sanctuary in Britain and lone white mothers of mixed-parentage children. In this paper, we examine the everyday and structural racism experienced by each group in order to consider how seemingly different manifestations of race and racism are linked together and, in certain ways, dependent on each other. The paper argues that public the celebration of mixedness acts as a disavowal mechanism which can be used to conceal the endurance of colour based racism as well as state racism operating legally through the immigration system.